Tonight’s game is the 107th on the season for the Red Sox and is suddenly a crucial game considering last night’s lackluster affair that saw the home team muster just two hits. The Red Sox need to take advantage of some of the lesser teams like the Twins and it must begin tonight.
There are a few notes that are worth highlighting as we get set for the Red Sox Hall of Fame Ceremony prior to the game tonight. Most noticeably, Mike Aviles returns to the lineup after missing five games with a turf toe condition. Aviles is penciled in at the number nine slot and will play his usual shortstop position.
Recent call-up Ryan Lavarnway will serves as the DH tonight meaning the speedy and entertaining Pedro Ciriaco has the night off. Given how well Ciriaco has played since being called up, some Red Sox fans are wondering if suddenly Aviles could become expendable?
Dustin Pedroia will return to his common number two spot in the lineup after experimenting in the number three hole. Carl Crawford had spent numerous games batting second in hopes of kick starting his season and given his success in Tampa Bay as the number two batter, it was worth a shot. Alas, Crawford continues to hit a mere .222 on the season and has been again put in at the number seven spot.
Kelly Shoppach, who’s name was swirling in the winds of trade last month will get the start behind the plate tonight. One staggering statistic that bodes well for Shoppach and not so much for Salty is that the Red Sox are 24-13 when Shoppach starts and just 29-39 when Salty gets the nod. Call it coincidence or call it fate, maybe Salty’s name should be the one that is shopped around this month on the waiver wire.
For the record, Ryan Lavarnway got the start last night and technically the Red Sox are 0-1 when the kid is catching.